Issogne Castle

Issogne, Italy

Issogne Castle is one of the most famous manors of the region, and is located on the right bank of the Dora Baltea. As a seigniorial residence of the Renaissance, the Castle has quite a different look from that of the austere Verrès Castle, which is located in Verrès, on the opposite bank of the river.

Issogne Castle is most noteworthy for its fountain in the form of pomegranate tree and its highly decorated portico, a rare example of medieval Alpine painting, with its frescoed cycle of scenes of daily life from the late Middle Ages.

The earliest mention of the castle of Issogne is in a Papal bull issued by Pope Eugene III in 1151. Some walling discovered in the cellars of the current castle may be evidence of a Roman villa, dating from the 1st century BC, on the site.

The castle was restored in the 15th century by Ibleto of Challant. The current appearance developed between 1490 and 1510 under George of Challant, who transformed it into a luxurious residence for his cousin Margaret de La Chambre and her son Philibert. These works transformed Issogne castle into a luxurious Renaissance residence.

After various owners, it was bought by the artist Vittorio Avondo in 1872 who restored it and donated it to the State in 1907. Today the castle belongs to the autonomous Region of Aosta Valley.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

hike&bike Italy (6 months ago)
One of the most visited Castles in the Valley. A castle and a palace, with colorful frescoes and furniture ( original or replaced but according to the style). Remarkable writings dating back 1700 or 1600 left by the pilgrims. The guided tour (in italian) was really interesting.
Federico Zambelli (6 months ago)
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Agustin Dal Lago (13 months ago)
The place was very beautiful. However the guided tour was quite disappointing. Not only the guide seemed rushed and spoke very fast (my Italian is basic but enough for basic understanding, my gf is Italian and agreed that she struggled to follow), the people around were disrespectful and would talk on top of her. The guide should politely ask them to shut up and continue presenting her idea, preferably showing interest in her topic.
Stephen Atkinson (2 years ago)
Superb castle, loved everything about it with a most knowledgeable and helpful guide.
Symon Payne (2 years ago)
Lovely old building. Well maintained. Excellent guide
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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.